MARKET UPDATES

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6 of 11 'super penthouses' on sale globally are in S'pore

Of the 11 "super penthouses" around the world now on the market, six are in Singapore. This is based on listings from 2016 to April this year, List Sotheby's International Realty (List SIR) said yesterday. The biggest of these super penthouses here is in Wallich Residence, with a floor area of 21, 108 sq ft and a building height of 950 ft or 289.5m. Spanning levels 62 to 64, the property has five bedrooms, a family room, a viewing deck, a private garden, a 12m pool, a cabana, a jacuzzi, an entertainment room and bar facilities. The next largest in Singapore is in The Marq, with a floor area of 17, 642 sq ft, followed by units in Reflections At Keppel Bay, Hilltops, Boulevard Vue and Concourse Skyline. Super penthouses, as defined by the luxury brokerage, are penthouses which are 10, 000 sq ft and above - about 10 times an average four-room Housing Board flat. Those located in "super tall" buildings, which are 305m to 580m in height, found in major global cities tend to fetch more attention and set record prices due to spectacular views offered, List SIR said. Penthouses are luxurious flats located at the top of tall buildings. Unique characteristics include being the one and only residence on the top floor, a dedicated lift and lift lobby, 360-degree spectacular views and four or more bedrooms. Other features include a space for entertainment, a boardroom for business meetings, concierge service and a private pool. Only six super penthouse transactions have taken place in Singapore since 2006. Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin made news in 2017 when he bought a 10, 300 sq ft penthouse at Sculptura Ardmore for over $60 million, making it the most expensive apartment here since Alibaba co-founder Sun Tongyu forked out $51 million for a 13, 573 sq ft penthouse at neighbouring Le Nouvel Ardmore in 2015. There were also three transactions for Goodwood Residence in 2014, 2013 and 2010, and one for Marina Bay Residences in 2006. The other super penthouses currently on the market are in Monaco, Miami, New York, and Auckland, New Zealand.

Source: Straits Times
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Sales of new private homes up 30% last month

Property developers, under pressure from a substantial pipeline, pushed out nine new projects last month following a lull in April, but the bulk of last month's sales came from earlier launches, analysts say. Developers sold 952 units, up nearly 30 per cent from 735 units in April, but down 15 per cent from the 1, 122 units booked in May last year. This is according to figures released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) yesterday. Of last month's total sales, 70.2 per cent were from previous launches. "This shows that unsold units in previous projects are building up (but) still offer buyers opportunities. URA Realis data shows 3, 491 unsold units in launched private residential projects as at the first quarter of this year, up from 1, 066 units a year ago, " noted JLL's senior director of research & consultancy Ong Teck Hui. The Woodleigh Residences, an earlier launch, was among top sellers last month after its median price was cut to $1, 823 per sq ft (psf) from around $2, 000 psf at its initial launch in November last year, analysts noted. "Despite tighter margins, we believe this move has helped drive sales, with 74 units sold in May, versus 29 sold during its initial launch. Hence, low or slow take-up rates could encourage developers to price more conservatively against the market, " said Credit Suisse analyst Louis Chua. Also boosting Woodleigh's sales were more attractive commissions paid to agents, analysts said. Developers sold 3, 525 new private homes (excluding executive condos) in the first five months of the year, up 2.6 per cent from 3, 436 units in the same period last year. Meanwhile, 1, 394 private homes were released for sale last month, more than triple the 444 units in April, and up 32 per cent from 1, 060 units launched a year ago. Mr Ong said: "Due to the pressure of a substantial pipeline of units for sale, developers can be expected to continue launching their projects to secure buyers." Should take-up remain at current levels, it is likely that some developers may launch at lower prices, especially for projects yet to be launched, as well as those secured in the later stage of the collective sale cycle, said CBRE's head of research for Singapore and South-east Asia Desmond Sim. The nine new launches accounted for 29.8 per cent of total sales last month, with two - Amber Park in East Coast and Parc Komo in Changi - topping the charts with their attractive freehold pricing. Amber Park's plus points include its project design, boasting the largest recreational space among new projects in the East Coast and Katong area, and its proximity to the upcoming Thomson-East Coast MRT line, said Ms Tricia Song, head of research for Singapore at Colliers International. Parc Komo, or the former Changi Garden, is near the future Changi Aviation Hub and Cross Island Line MRT, she added. Mr Ong noted the median prices of between $1, 340 psf and $1, 497 psf "for suburban projects like Parc Komo, The Florence Residences and Treasure at Tampines are within the means of many entry-level buyers". Projects in the city fringes or rest of central region are also doing well: 51.3 per cent of the units were sold in the city fringes last month, up from 43.7 per cent in April. "This is also the first time this year that the mid-tier segment saw the highest sales volume among all market segments, " said Ms Christine Li, head of research for Singapore and South-east Asia at Cushman & Wakefield.

Source: Straits Times
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Much-awaited Kampong Bugis white site to be released for sale may appeal to large developer

The much-awaited white site at Kampong Bugis, to be released for sale under the reserve list to a master developer, is among the most keenly watched sites due to its size and relative novelty, amid current market headwinds, analysts say. Only a few master developer projects exist here, including Marina Bay Financial Centre and Suntec City. Located at the mouth of the Kallang River, the 9.2ha Kampong Bugis site, to be completed over nine to 11 years, is expected to yield 4, 000 private homes and 50, 000 sq m of space for retail, offices, community uses, serviced apartments, sports and recreational facilities. White sites allow for a range of uses. "The intention is for a single developer to comprehensively master plan the site and implement urban solutions" such as a district-wide pneumatic waste conveyance system and a storm water treatment and water management system, said the National Development Ministry. Kampong Bugis should be attractive to a large developer or consortium as it offers a rare opportunity to plan and create an urban ecosystem over the long term, said Ms Tricia Song, head of research for Singapore at Colliers International. But some analysts say there may be limited interest given the sizeable cost of the development and current market headwinds. Cushman & Wakefield senior manager of research Wong Xian Yang believes the total land cost could exceed $5 billion and "would be prohibitive even for the big boys". Two other white sites are on offer. CBRE head of research for South-east Asia Desmond Sim said the Marina View site has "a strong focus on in-city living and commercial, while the site at Woodlands Avenue 2 is part of the Northern Corridor identified in the Draft Master Plan 2019". Credit Suisse analyst Louis Chua said a new hotel site in River Valley Road is expected to appeal to developers given its prime location and robust bids received for a Club Street hotel site that closed in January at $2, 149 per sq ft. Ms Song noted this hotel plot replaced the Sims Avenue hotel site, which would have yielded 575 rooms. The Sims Avenue site has been removed from the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme. The River Valley hotel development will be integrated with Fort Canning MRT station, and is walking distance to Clarke Quay and Fort Canning Park. Mr Govinda Singh, Colliers' executive director of valuation and advisory services, said the site presents a good opportunity to establish the Fort Canning area as a major tourist destination, creating additional footfall to Clarke Quay. "At potentially 560 rooms, this will be a significant project... in addition, a smaller lifestyle property could also be added to enhance the overall development, " he added.

Source: Straits Times
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Cascadale up for sale en bloc with reserve price of $270m

The owners of Cascadale have put their 25-year-old freehold condominium development up for collective sale with a reserve price of $270 million, marketing agent JLL announced yesterday. This translates to a land rate of about $1, 071 per sq ft per plot ratio, after including an estimated development charge of about $17 million and before factoring in any bonus gross floor areas, said JLL. The owners stand to receive between $1.4 million and $4 million each, said JLL. JLL senior consultant Karamjit Singh said demand and values for homes in this area are expected to rise by 10 per cent to 20 per cent over the next three to five years. This is in the light of development plans for areas surrounding Changi Airport, which recently saw the launch of Jewel Changi Airport. Another development is the upcoming Terminal 5, which aims to handle twice the current number of tourist arrivals. The 134-unit Cascadale sits on a site zoned as "residential" under the 2014 Master Plan, and has a land size of 167, 528 sq ft. It has a gross plot ratio of 1.6 and an allowable building height of up to 12 storeys, or 45m above mean sea level, subject to approval from the authorities. The development is located in Upper Changi Road East, some 350m from Upper Changi MRT station, two stations from Changi Airport and Jewel. It is close to the Singapore University of Technology and Design, Changi City Point, Changi Business Park and the Singapore Expo. Cascadale may be redeveloped into a condominium project comprising up to 292 units with an average size of 85 sq m per apartment, subject to approval and payment of development charges. According to JLL, the location is also attractive for redevelopment into serviced residences, with approval from the authorities. The recently unveiled draft 2019 Master Plan outlines plans to transform the entire Changi East area into an innovative lifestyle and economic cluster, centred on aviation-related businesses and industries. Moreover, Mr Singh said there are no new condominium projects in the pipeline for District 16, which includes areas such as Bedok, Upper East Coast Road, Sennett Road, Eastwood and Tanah Merah. "Aside from a small site in Upper East Coast Road sold in 2017, there has been no freehold residential site sold (in the district) since 2010, " he added. JLL believes that although collective sales of residential sites have "practically come to a halt" since the cooling measures in July last year, Cascadale stands a reasonably good chance of securing a buyer due to these unique factors and a reasonable reserve price. The tender will close on July 10 at 2.30pm.

Source: Straits Times
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Newton Lodge takes 2nd stab at collective sale with same $44m reserve price

SINGAPORE - Newton Lodge, a 16-unit apartment development near Novena MRT station, is making a second attempt at a collective sale. The vendors are expecting a minimum of $44 million for the freehold 21, 409 sq ft site zoned "residential", which reflects a land rate of $1, 468 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr) based on an allowable 1.4 gross plot ratio. The minimum asking price is the same as its previous attempt in January this year. If achieved, it means each owner gets between $2.5 million to $3.0 million. Should the deal factor an additional 8 per cent bonus gross floor area for balconies and communal areas, the reserve price translates to a lower rate of about $1, 359 psf ppr. Development charges are not payable for the redevelopment. The property may be redeveloped into a low-rise apartment project comprising up to 27 units, with an average size of 100 sq m per unit. Newton Lodge is located about 400m from Novena MRT station and the Novena commercial cluster. The Government intends to turn the Novena area into Singapore's largest healthcare hub by 2030. When completed, Health City Novena, spanning across 17ha, will form an entire ecosystem revolving around health services, medical research and education, integrated with commercial, leisure and public community spaces. Subject to approval from the authorities, Newton Lodge may also be suitable as serviced residences or a custom-built co-living development. If approved for serviced apartments, Newton Lodge could potentially house around 50 to 60 rooms which could be rented for a minimum seven-day stay. "Professionally-run and organised co-living concepts to the levels of the coworking phenomenon are still in their infancy in Singapore, and are expected to grow, especially with high stamp duties payable for home purchases by foreigners in Singapore, " said Mr Karamjit Singh, senior consultant at JLL. "We are beginning to receive a lot more inquiries from new co-living operators and investors looking to venture into Singapore." The tender for Newton Lodge closes on Thursday, July 11, at 2.30pm.

Source: Straits Times
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Japanese-inspired Parc Komo unveiled

The property development division of Chip Eng Seng Corporation unveiled its Parc Komo mixed development in Changi yesterday. CEL Development said the freehold project is inspired by the Japanese concept of Komorebi, which celebrates the blend of nature and order. It has an average price of about $1, 450 per square foot (psf) and occupies a land area of about 202, 000 sq ft with 10 five-storey blocks totalling 276 units. There are also two levels consisting of 28 commercial units. Apartment sizes range from 452 sq ft for a one-bedroom apartment to 1, 905 sq ft for the largest five-bedroom luxury penthouse. The pricing starts at $663, 000 for a one-bedroom unit, $871, 000 for a two-bedder and $1, 294, 000 for a three-bedroom unit. The public preview is on Saturday. Parc Komo is in District 17, a region earmarked for development and rejuvenation in the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) Draft Master Plan 2019. Chip Eng Seng Corporation chief executive Raymond Chia said: "The rustic charm of Changi and the exciting masterplan for the area are major draw cards for Parc Komo." Investors can look forward to rental opportunities given its proximity to Changi Business Park, Changi International Logispark, Changi Aviation Park and the upcoming Changi East Industrial Zone. Nearby recreational amenities include Changi Point and Jewel Changi Airport. Parc Komo will be accessible via the upcoming Loyang MRT station on the Cross Island Line, expected to be completed by 2029.

Source: Straits Times
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Woodleigh Residences condo to launch this weekend

An onsen (hot spring) with a view of a lake, and homes built with Japanese design and technology are what residents at The Woodleigh Residences can look forward to when it is completed in 2022. Residential units at the integrated development by Japanese developer Kajima Development and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) will be launched for sale on Saturday, said the companies in a joint press statement yesterday. Prices will start at $1, 733 per sq ft, though it was not revealed how many units will be made available at the launch. The 667-unit residential component will sit atop a three-storey retail mall with a supermarket and will have direct access to Woodleigh MRT station and an air-conditioned underground bus interchange. The complex will also include a Neighbourhood Police Centre and a community club. Located at the junction of Upper Serangoon and Upper Aljunied roads, The Woodleigh Residences will have picturesque views of the 10ha Bidadari Park and Alkaff Lake, which are prominent highlights of Bidadari estate under the 2014 Urban Redevelopment Authority Masterplan. A 180m stretch of the Bidadari Heritage Walk, which will be lined with conserved rain trees as well as food and beverage outlets, will run right alongside the 99-year leasehold development. Other features of Bidadari estate include Singapore's first underground service reservoir, a play area with a treehouse, as well as two 5, 000 sq m lawns. SPH chief executive officer Ng Yat Chung said: "As Bidadari's only integrated development, and with the new plans announced for the Bidadari estate, this development is the jewel of Bidadari." The project is also within 1km of schools such as Maris Stella High School, Cedar Primary School and Stamford American International School. Residential units will feature Japanese technology to maximise space, said Mr Keisuke Koshijima, executive vice-president of Kajima Corporation. One example is flushed flooring between the balcony and living room, which means the ground is level right through the living room to the balcony, such that the living space can be extended. Smart drainage design in the balcony ensures that water is drained properly. The units also feature specific walls that can be removed with less hassle, without the need for rewiring electrical works so that the home can adapt to changing family needs. For instance, the living area in a two-bedroom residence can be expanded by removing a wall. Mr Koshijima added: "We will be contributing our technology and proven experience to set a new standard in Singapore's real estate. "Our development will be synonymous with the kind of Japanese design and quality that you will get in Tokyo." The homes will range in size from 570 sq ft for a two-bedroom unit to 1, 475 sq ft for a four-bedroom deluxe unit. All four-bedroom units will have private lift access and views of the Alkaff Lake. In October last year, 50 units of the project were released during a soft launch, following which a further 50 were released in November after Kajima said there was good demand. The Woodleigh Residences sales gallery is located next to Nex shopping mall in Serangoon Link.

Source: Straits Times
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Amber Park sells 115 of 150 units at average price of $2,425 psf

Amber Park sold 115 units at an early-bird average price of $2, 425 per square foot (psf), after the 592-unit East Coast condominium project was launched over the weekend. This accounted for 77 per cent of the 150 units released by City Developments Limited (CDL) and its joint-venture partner Hong Realty. The take-up was "the strongest launch weekend sales for a freehold project this year", said CDL in a media statement yesterday. The sold units - which included a penthouse - amounted to a total sales value of over $240 million and covered all apartment types. CDL said about 85 per cent of the buyers were Singaporeans, while the remaining were foreigners mainly from China, Malaysia, Indonesia, India and others. Early-bird prices started from $1.088 million for a one-bedroom plus study apartment, $1.608 million for a two-bedroom plus study, $1.628 million for a two-bedroom, $2.18 million for a three-bedroom, $3.068 million for a four-bedroom plus study, $3.438 million for a four-bedroom, and $4.98 million for a five-bedroom premium. Unit sizes range from 463 sq ft for a one-bedroom plus study unit to 5, 005 sq ft for the largest six-bedroom plus study penthouse. CDL group general manager Chia Ngiang Hong said: "Sales for this project are off to a good start, indicating healthy demand for well-located projects that are exceptionally designed. As a freehold project in District 15 located so close to an MRT station, Amber Park draws buyers looking for projects with good investment value." ZACD Group head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak said of the early-bird pricing: "It reflects the quality of the location, the freehold tenure as well as the dependability of a brand-name developer, which will command a premium on the price." The 213, 675 sq ft site was purchased in October 2017 for $906.7 million, which was at the time a record by dollar value for freehold properties sold en bloc. This translated to a land price of $1, 515 psf per plot ratio. The condo project is a three-minute walk from the upcoming Tanjong Katong MRT station on the Thomson-East Coast Line. Schools within a 2km radius include Tao Nan School, CHIJ (Katong) Primary and Tanjong Katong Girls' School. The development has a 32, 507 sq ft rooftop recreational deck that connects three 21-storey towers. Called the Stratosphere, it features a 600m sky jogging track, touted by CDL as a first for a condo in Singapore, as well as a yoga deck, gym and spa pool, among other facilities.

Source: Straits Times
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Amber Park condo with rooftop deck being launched

A freehold condominium project in Amber Road that boasts a rooftop deck for recreational activities will be launched tomorrow. The 592-unit Amber Park is developed by City Developments Limited (CDL) and its joint venture partner Hong Realty. Early-bird prices start from $1.088 million for a one-bedroom unit with a study to $4.98 million for a five-bedroom premium unit, CDL said in a statement yesterday. Unit sizes range from 463 sq ft for a one-bedroom plus study apartment to 5, 005 sq ft for the largest penthouse, which has six bedrooms plus a study. The 213, 675 sq ft site was purchased in October 2017 for $906.7 million, which was at the time a record by dollar value for freehold properties sold en bloc. This translated to a land price of $1, 515 per square foot per plot ratio. The condo project is a short walk from the upcoming Tanjong Katong MRT station on the Thomson-East Coast Line. Schools within a 2km radius include Tao Nan School, CHIJ (Katong) Primary and Tanjong Katong Girls' School. Designed by SCDA Architects' principal architect Chan Soo Khian, the development has a 32, 507 sq ft rooftop recreational deck that connects three 21-storey towers. Called the Stratosphere, it features a 600m sky jogging track, touted by CDL as the first for a condo in Singapore, as well as a yoga deck, gym and spa pool, among other facilities. CDL's group general manager, Mr Chia Ngiang Hong, said the project has received positive feedback from visitors to the sales gallery, which opened for viewing last Saturday. "Many of them are fans of the East Coast area and they know it is rare to find another District 15 freehold project which sits on such an expansive site so near an MRT station, " he said. He expects the take-up to be good due to the condo's location and the "very attractive" early-bird prices. ZACD Group head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak said of the pricing: "It reflects the quality of the location, the freehold tenure as well as the dependability of a brand-name developer, which will command a premium on the price." He added that the East Coast area is a prime residential location popular with residents and investors as it is one of the few locations in Singapore that offer sea views and access to the city. Amber Park is expected to be completed in 2024. The launch comes amid the entry of 2, 989 new private homes to the market in the first quarter of this year, about 80 per cent more than in the previous quarter.

Source: Straits Times
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Singaporeans spend more time on property searches than reading bedtime stories to their children: Poll

SINGAPORE - Singaporeans on average spend three times longer on property searches than on reading bedtime stories to their children, or speaking to their parents, data from a HSBC report shows. According to HSBC's 2019 Beyond the Bricks survey, Singaporeans spend an average of 3.29 hours each week on property-related window shopping, reading property magazines, and trawling through online listings, even when they are not in the market for a new home. By contrast, respondents said they spend just over an hour (1.03 hours) reading bedtime stories to their children, and less than an hour (0.94 hour) speaking to their parents per week. The survey polled more than 11, 000 people across 10 countries and territories, including 1, 000 respondents from Singapore, on their attitudes towards home ownership and financing a home. While Singapore house hunters obsess over finding the perfect property, the decision to buy is often impulsive, with 36 per cent deciding on a property based purely on first impressions, though this figure is slightly lower than the global average of 39 per cent. The survey also found that the majority of Singaporeans, or 75 per cent of them, would have viewed five houses or fewer in person before they bought their first home. This impulsive tendency is even more pronounced among "extreme Singaporean property addicts", defined by HSBC as those who spend over seven hours a week reading about, or researching property. Among this group, more than half, or 51 per cent, admit to buying a property on first sight, while 63 per cent of them did not have any criteria to adhere to when shopping for a property. Some 27 per cent of these extreme house hunters also often went over budget, compared to 10 per cent of average Singaporeans. Ranojoy Dutta, head of retail products at HSBC Singapore said: "Buying a property is often the biggest and most significant purchase we make, but some home buyers may be taking their passion for the perfect home too far. An industry of property magazines, TV programmes and websites is making it harder than ever before to have realistic expectations about what you can afford. "It is essential to begin this buying process by having an open discussion with your partner, your family or financial adviser to discuss what you can afford, and what compromises you might have to make." Separately, the research also revealed that neighbours are extremely important to Singapore home buyers, with "creepy neighbours" being the biggest deal breaker when it comes to purchasing a property. This percentage is higher than the global average of 47 per cent, HSBC noted. When it comes to superstitions affecting their property choices, Singaporeans are similar to their Malaysian counterparts, with 33 per cent considering "bad feng shui", and 16 per cent citing unlucky door number or a street name as deal breakers.

Source: Straits Times
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